I picked Kian up from school the other day and found that he was just waking from his brief nap during rest period. He isn’t exactly a peach when he gets woken up and had a bit of a grump on.
I gave him a hug and helped him on with his coat while his teacher came over to try to cheer him up a bit. I began to explain to her that he hadn’t gone to bed as early as he should have and that his current state of irritability was a direct result. She laughed and chatted about how she totally understood. As a first time mom with a little baby, she’s not been sleeping well either. She said that she should come with a disclaimer “I look like this because I’m severely sleep deprived.” Understanding her plight all too well, I chuckled and empathized with her. I explained that I used to be kind of pretty before complete exhaustion had taken over.
I always feel sorry for the novice parent because I think getting used to being sleep deprived is the hardest adjustment to having a child. It does get easier after a while and by that I mean… you get used to being completely exhausted. I do have to say however, it has some interesting long-term effects.
For instance, I was up the other morning fixing the baby a bottle. I had been up throughout the night with a vomiting child (again) and had a total of two hours of consistent sleep. As I ran water to make the bottle, I grab ginger ale from the refrigerator. I set it on the counter, scooped formula into the bottle and then reached for a cup to pour the ginger ale. I set the cup down, shut the water off and then pour 6 oz. of ginger ale into the baby’s bottle- with the formula.
A few days ago my mother-in-law kindly came to the house to sit with the kids so I could run to the store quickly. I hopped in the car (always feeling rushed) and raced down the street. I can honestly tell you that the next part is a little scary. I got to the Country Kitchen (a restaurant outside of town) before I realized I drove about a mile beyond my turn. I have no idea where the hell I thought I was going. Maybe it was my subconscious taking over, trying to help me flee.
Frequently I find that words completely escape me. I’ll be trying to explain something and for the life of me I can’t think of the damn word. For example “Can you hand me the… ummm… that thing… that thingy… right there!” The word I was looking for was “diaper” and how could I forget it? Really? I have no idea.
I was thinking the other night that maybe my dad was right about his idea of having children making your teeth fall out – as I seriously contemplated whether or not to brush my teeth before bed. I was so damn tired that the thought of having to stand upright at the sink and make a brushing motion was simply too much. You’ll be happy to know I suffered through it, while sitting on the toilet.
When I’ve gone several days with minimal sleep (2-3 consistent hours/night) I become REALLY emotional and cry… about nothing. Kind of like my children when it’s past their nap time.
So basically my disclaimer should read:
Do not operate a motor vehicle, heavy machinery, make a bottle, try to talk or attempt to function in any way.
Side effects may include the following:
Impaired speech, impaired vision, unattractive appearance, bad breath, body odor, extreme variation in emotions, unkempt hair, blotchy skin and loss of short-term memory.
Should these symptoms persist for more than 15 years- it’s safe to say you’ve completely lost your mind.